A new climate change policy is on the cards for WA, with the State Government planning a better environment for future generations.
The McGowan Government acknowledged that it has a role to play while recognising that the Federal Government must lead the way at a national level.
“Many climate change issues are already being addressed by State agencies, industry and the community – but we can all do better,” Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said.
“There’s more we can do to reduce the risks, the impacts and the costs. And there’s more we can do to improve the resilience of our communities and our environment.”
The State released its previous climate change strategy “Adapting to Our Changing Climate” in 2012, developed in the context of a national carbon price, but there had since been changes in climate science and changes in national policy.
It said WA was exposed to impacts from national greenhouse gas policies, because of its energy-intensive, resources-based economy.
It indicated that the State was also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with south-west WA affected by habitat destruction, prone to bushfires and impacted from reduced rainfall.
The government indicated a State climate policy will build on current climate initiatives to enhance renewable energy, secure water supplies as a result of a decline in rainfall and increase electric vehicle use.
Mr Dawson said the States and Territories were impacted from developing a response to climate change, but WA would be able to face the issue with the new policy.
“The ongoing uncertainty at the national level has made it challenging for States and Territories to develop a considered response to climate change,” he said.
“But there are measures we can take to ensure Western Australia is well-positioned in the face of rapid technological change and a changing climate – whatever the position of the Commonwealth Government.”
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Climate Change Unit will co-ordinate the new policy over the next 12 months.